Haute Moms (Webster’s Dictionary definition of HAUTE…. fashionable, high-class)

My definition of a “Haute Mom” is a woman that takes pride in how she maintains herself. She cares about good health and nutrition. Working out is a fundamental part of her life. She loves life and enjoys it to the fullest. While we thrive on being amazing moms and wives we also take care of ourselves and want to feel and look our best. We enjoy spending time with good friends and are always enthused about learning new things.

I think back to when I was newly married. My husband and I made a commitment to wait ten years before having children so it really was a major transition for us once we did become parents. In our early married years, we had what many people might consider a “glamorous” life. We spent our time traveling the world to locations like the south of France, to Greece, as well as many other hot spots. In fact, one year for our anniversary my husband rented a castle in London with a full staff for one night. It was amazing and utterly romantic. We really were having the time of our lives but then we felt we wanted to add another dimension to our lives and that we were now ready to have a family. In our pre-parent years, having spent so much time exclusively with each other doing whatever we pleased, we were fully aware that the decision now to have children would definitely change the lifestyle we’d become accustomed to, at least for awhile but we were OK with that.

Then along came twins! Anyone that has multiples or children close in age can tell you firsthand how much work is involved especially in the beginning. But we had waited so long we didn’t care about the work or the added responsibility, our hearts just expanded in a way we had never imagined when our little “angels” came into the world. The experience has been totally incredible and yes, we accepted the fact that we would not be traveling much in the beginning but now that the twins are three years old we can do some of that and so it seems that our world once again, has changed for the better.

At this stage our kids are full of imagination and so much fun! We love spending time together as a family but now my husband and I have added our “date” nights back into the mix as well as the occasional one night away as a special treat. This helps us stay connected and gives us the quality time together that we crave. Please note that it’s not always about spending money. I am sure many of you reading this are thinking, “Well, if I had an unlimited budget I could do all these things too”. Believe me, in today’s economy everyone has to watch their bottom line and I mean EVERYONE! So it’s about finding ways to put your relationship first and still be a great mom and then find time for yourself as well. You don’t have to spend tons of money to make someone feel like they are a priority to you. Now that our kids are spending some time at school we take advantage of that time and work out together. Or you can go on walks before work or after dinner. If the kids are small bring them along. It’s a great opportunity to share with them the wonders of nature and to watch their reaction to all the exciting things they see along the pathway or beach areas if that’s where you choose to walk. It will broaden their universe and will also give you some quality topics of conversation to have with them at bath or bed time each night. I am aware that we get tired and it can be easy to slide and postpone these things, but Haute Moms will do it anyway knowing that it’s better for the relationship and solidifies the family. Effort is required to keep the passion alive on your part and that of your partner, but it is worth it because having a happy family is everything! Remember that anything worth having requires effort.

I will now share my source for great tips that I will put up for you. I am interested in fashion, great food, traveling and of course family adventures and fun activities for the kids. I want this to be a “dream page” so let’s start off by trading stories as well as recipes. Below are several websites where I love to shop. I want to share them with you because you should be able to dress in amazing clothes yet save money. These sites offer name-brand clothes for the entire family and the savings are anywhere from 50% up to 70% off the ticketed price. So enjoy the shopping and I will keep you posted on all of my “family fun” secrets as well. We “haute” moms have to stick together.

Tara ‘s Haute Mom picks for Internet shopping are as follows:

These are all my favorite picks that will keep you looking “haute” yet ensuring that you are getting the absolute best prices out there. You will love these sites that feature well- known name brands but priced from 50 -70% off. I love it! How can you go wrong? Have fun, girls!

Haute Mom Recipes

I love cooking with my children. It is such a fun experience! And I think it’s so important even while they are young to start them out in the kitchen. Although it can be hectic having twins getting into drawers and utensils, it’s also a great time to spend with them and they love being a part of it and learning becomes great fun! I really try to keep them on a healthy diet 99% of the time. I make sure that they eat as much of the really good stuff as possible but I also don’t deny them treats. I always look for ways to make healthier treats that taste great and I know they will love. Now my son loves waffles and pancakes and my daughter (like her mom) has a sweet tooth so I found an amazing wheat-free & gluten-free baking mix that I LOVE. It’s called “Pamela’s Wheat-free & Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix” and it taste so good you would swear it wasn’t gluten-free.

Below are a few favorites that we make on weekends. I also am including below some yummy family dinners that are easy to make yet don’t take a lot of time to prepare. Enjoy!

Note: You can always make your own modifications to these recipes by adding in your favorite things:

Chocolate Chip Cookies (my daughter Skye Isabela loves these!)

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1-1/2 cups Pamela’s mix (a Wheat-free & Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix)
1-1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350◦ F. Cream butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla, then beat together. Add Pamela’s mix, chocolate chips and nuts, and then mix thoroughly.

Place 1 tbsp. scoops of dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges start to brown. Remove from oven and allow cookies cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet using a spatula. Recipe yields approximately 20 cookies.

We love to eat these with almond milk when they are still warm. Enjoy!

Jaden’s pancakes

1 cup Pamela’s mix (a Wheat-free & Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix)
1 large egg (you can use egg replacement or egg whites equivalent)
3/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. oil

This recipe makes six 4” inch pancakes. You can also add blueberries, chocolate chips, anything you want here. Have fun with it. Jaden loves to add in bananas. Mix all the ingredients together until there are no lumps. Batter should not be too thin or too thick.

Pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto a preheated, lightly oiled griddle (medium low heat, or 350◦ F for electric griddles). Flip once. Serve immediately.

We love to use real maple syrup but if you are watching your sugar intake, you can use Agave which has sugar but is low glycemic so is a healthier choice. Either way these taste great!

FAMILY MEALS YOU WILL LOVE

Turkey Loaf with sun dried tomatoes

Olive oil cooking spray
1/2 cup Swanson’s organic chicken broth
1/4 cup frozen chopped onions
1/4 cup frozen chopped green bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 pounds ground uncooked turkey breast
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
1 egg
1 tablespoon Spice Island Greek Seasoning
1/4 cup Hunts organic ketchup

  1. Preheat oven to 350◦ F.
  2. Lightly coat a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl combine chicken broth, onions, peppers, celery, and garlic. Cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Cool.
  4. In a large bowl combine cooled vegetables, turkey, rice, tomatoes, egg and Greek seasoning. With clean hands, combine ingredients and mix thoroughly. Lightly pat mixture into prepared loaf pan. Spread Ketchup on top.
  5. Bake turkey loaf in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until no longer pink

Preparation time: 20 min.
Serves: 8

* * *

This is a great summer dish to serve your family for eating outdoors:

Herb-rubbed Chicken Drumettes

3 pounds of chicken drumettes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon McCormick Grill Mates Chicken Seasoning
1 tablespoon crushed garlic

  1. Place chicken in a shallow baking dish. In a small bowl prepare marinade. Stir in the remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Rub chicken with marinade so it is coated all over. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Set up grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the fridge and let it stand for 30 minutes.

Place chicken on hot oiled grill. Cook for 12-18 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning occasionally. Transfer chicken to platter and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Prep time: 10 minutes.
Marinating time: 2 hours or overnight
Grilling time: 12 minutes.
Serves 4.

KEEPING YOUR FAMILY HEALTHY ALL YEAR ROUND

It is a fact that everyone catches things and if your family is anything like mine you will find that the cold/flu seems to work its way through everyone in the household except the dog or in our case, the dogs (we have three fluffy friends).

At any rate, there are things that you can do daily to help ward off some of these bugs but if you do manage to catch them this will also help everyone recover more quickly.

One of the things we know to be true is that washing hands to ward off germs is key for us all especially our little ones. It’s better to use good old-fashioned soap and water than the antiseptic sanitary killers as our bodies still need to be able to fight off some germs naturally. If we make everything germ-free then whenever we’re exposed to any type of a cold or flu bug, our natural immune system won’t be strong enough to fight them off. There is always a balance to everything.

I take 500 mg of vitamin C a day as do my children. A fact my pediatrician told me is that many adults and children are low in vitamin D and encouraged me to add a D supplement to my children’s’ diets daily. He also recommended a probiotic which has proved to be amazing.

When your children are taking an antibiotic its smart to remember that the medication is killing all of the good as well as the bad in their system and the probiotic helps to replace the good.

I make sure my little girl is taking it regularly and I give her and my son a good amount of yogurt. Little girls are prone to bladder infections at a young age and this helps prevent occurrences.

All of these things can be easily added into your daily routine but it is always important to check with your child’s doctor before starting any program.

There are some wonderful natural products available that really can help keep your family healthy and that’s what I like to try first. Believe me, I certainly will give my children an antibiotic if they need it but that isn’t always the case, so here are a few other things that you can use instead:

  • If your child suffers from indigestion, “Gripe Water” is excellent and can be found in any health food store
  • If the kiddies are over three years old and can have honey, I give them warm water with lemon and honey as a treatment for sore throats.
  • If your child has an ear ache you can get garlic drops for their ears and if you catch it within the first three days, this will likely cure the problem before an antibiotic is needed. Again, every child is different, so always check with your doctor.

Potty Training and Haute Kids Underpants

The best tip I can give you on potty training is to let your child let you know when he/she is ready. So many parents today feel the need to rush into potty training and I learned from my own experience that while it’s always easier to have your child potty trained it isn’t something you can rush. In our household with the twins, we were going through 22 diapers a day. Finally around age 2 they were ready and so I made a HUGE deal about “big girl” panties and “big boy” underwear and I went out and bought all the cute ones I knew they would love and they were trained within three days!

We stayed inside, drank lots of water, milk, 50/50 juice (a mixture of 50% juice and 50% water which, incidentally, is the only way my kids have juice). All day long then at 20 minute intervals, I put them on their own potty. I was nervous about training both at the same time and all my friends told me it would be much harder to train my son. But they both took to this new experience like little champs and I think they even became a little competitive with one another which was a bonus for me! For my own sanity, however, I did put a “pull-up” on them for a while as I couldn’t imagine getting up all the time with them both and it worked out great. I’m aware that some people don’t believe in using a “pull-up” but each person has to decide what works best for their own family.

I also went out and bought a potty for my car. Yes, I did say “a potty for my car”. They do in fact make car potties and it’s a brilliant idea! There have been many occasions where we would have had an accident had this not been available and they come with little disposable bags as well so that has worked well for us. I just feel it’s always important to listen to your kiddies and assess where they are as some kids are ready sooner than others and that’s okay as long as they are potty trained before they start school. Some schools will even help with this process.

If you need to use a sticker board, go for it. In the beginning I used the reward system each time they went “potty”. I went out and bought a box of cheap toys and for the first three days, every time they went they got to pick out something. It worked so well that by the end of the three days they totally got it and I began to spread out the toy distribution to every three days and finally none at all. Sticker charts work wonders as well. I use them to help with a behavior that I don’t like and it works along with the “time out” chair.

Discipline: When You’re Haute Kids are being Hot Headed

When it comes to sticking to discipline, if you say it you must back it up. My husband and I are committed to the same rules when it comes to our children and we always stand by our word. With having two the same age, the minute you don’t enforce the rules, they try to take over and then it becomes very difficult to get your power back so if you say it, stick to it! The same principle applies for rewarding them. If you tell them that they can go to the park or pick out a special treat if they have a good day or a good week, then make sure you follow through. As you well know, kids will test you all the time and it’s most important that you and your kids are on the “same page”.

I wanted to give you some thoughts that help me deal with the pressure that comes with being a parent. We all know the joys and how wonderful that experience is, but truthfully it really is the most difficult job in the world because we never want to make a mistake with our most precious and treasured gifts. But the bottom line is that we do err at times and we will continue to do so, that’s just the way it is. So don’t beat yourself up or allow “MOM GUILT” to set in. Instead, make a choice to learn from it and move forward and try to just let some things roll.

I now understand the meaning of “picking your battles”. Try not to take things too seriously all the time. Cut yourself some slack when you need to and don’t take personally every thing that your kids say and do. This one is the hardest for me to deal with but I remind myself daily that they are only three years old after all, that I am doing my best and truly that’s all each of us can do. So laugh with your kids as much as possible. Get on the floor and roll around with them. Allow your own “inner child” to come out and play. Make time together for “make believe” and kiss them as much as possible everyday. Tell them how precious they are and how much you LOVE them and how happy you are to have them as your children. Make a point of praising them frequently and try your best not to lose your cool when the little things add up. After all your child is unique and one of a kind so take a breath and always remember that soon enough they will be grown up and leave the nest. So while you have them, enjoy every moment!

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